The way the researcher enters the research field can constitute a privileged mode of observing the structure and qualities of the research field, particularly in qualitative sociological inquiries. In the process of the initial contact of the researcher with a social place, especially in those cases when his/her physical presence is required, the structural features of the place gradually manifest themselves. Quite often, a strictly ‘technical’ approach to research-work tends to overlook the potential usefulness of this phase. In this article, we will put forward the hypothesis that by investigating the way research participants observe the researcher, especially during the initial stage of interaction, we can gain useful knowledge regarding particular structural aspects of the research field.
Sociological Research Online – SAGE
Published: May 1, 2004
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